“Oil sites put Surrey on the climate change front line” – rally told

191026 HH March1 DoD

Protest march. 26 October 2019. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Opponents of onshore oil drilling in Surrey are at the forefront of the fight against climate change, a county councillor said this morning.

The Green Party’s Jonathan Essex told a rally outside a UK Oil & Gas site near Gatwick Airport:

“The climate front line is here in the south of England and here in Surrey.”

He said new technology would allow companies to extract almost limitless amounts of oil. But he said:

“This is the time to reduce the amount of oil coming out of the ground, not to increase it.”

191026 HH Cllr Jonathan Essex DoD

Surrey County Councillor, Jonathan Essex, speaking at a rally outside the Horse Hill oil site, 26 October 2019. Photo: DrillOrDrop

The rally was protesting about a vote last month by Surrey County Council to allow four more oil wells and 20 years of oil production at the site at Horse Hill. Opponents of the decision said it would make Horse Hill the UK’s second largest onshore oil site.

The vote came just two months after the council declared a climate emergency.

Cllr Essex said:

“I am here to call out the emptiness of Surrey County Council declaring a climate emergency and continuing the promotion of expansion of oil and gas sites.

“This is not acceptable. We need to show this council what having declared a climate emergency means in practical terms.

“We need to reduce the amount of car travel and flights from the south of England. We need to change the way we heat our buildings. We cannot have our cake and eat it.

“Expansion of oil and gas sites is not acceptable.”

About 100 people joined the rally for speeches and a march to the site, where UK Oil & Gas is currently drilling the horizontal section of a second well.

191026 HH Emily Grossman DoD

Emily Grossman at protest rally against Horse Hill oil drilling. 26 October 2019. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Dr Emily Grossman, science broadcaster and co-founder of Scientists for Extinction Rebellion, said:

“The overwhelming scientific consensus is that we urgently need to move away from the use of fossil fuels and rapidly bring down greenhouse emissions if we are to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.

“Allowing 20 years’ worth of oil extraction here in Surrey flies in the face of both local and national climate targets, and will cause not only a direct threat to our financial stability but also criminal damage towards our planet.

“I’m here to support the people standing up for reason at Horse Hill – and to urge Surrey County Council to think again.”

191026 HH Sarah Finch DoD

Sarah Finch at Horse Hill protest rally. 26 October 2019. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Sarah Finch, from Redhill, is seeking a judicial review of the Surrey County Council decision.

She said lawyers acting for Weald Action Group had advised there were four grounds to challenge the planning approval: two on climate change, one on earthquakes which have affected the area over the past 18 months, and one on greenbelt.

Legal papers have been sent to Surrey County Council and it has until 1 November to respond.

Ms Finch said:

“If we are not satisfied with that response we will go ahead with seeking the judicial review.

“We will put the decision in front of a judge and get it made properly.”

191026 HH Petra Todd DoD

Petra Todd at Horse Hill protest rally. 26 October 2019. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Petra Todd, of the Youth Strike for Climate, told the rally:

“I am watching my future being broken down in front of my own eyes.

“Now is the time to invest in renewables, not fossil fuels.

“Surrey county council knows how it should be behaving but it is choosing not to. It is doing the opposite.”

In a warning to councillors, she said:

“Empty worlds will not save us.

“If you do not act for the planet, future generations will judge you as guilty.”

191026 HH Rev Helen Barnett2 DoD

Rev Helen Burnett outside Horse Hill well site. 26 October 2019. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Rev Helen Barnett, vicar in Chaldon and a member of Extinction Rebellion, urged people to find friends and families to join the campaign. Speaking outside the site entrance, she said:

“Find 10 more people with time and energy to make this the focus of an on-going rebellion.”

She described oil drilling in leafy rural Surrey as like a “dystopian fiction”:

“The relentless pursuit of fossil fuels in the interest of profit stops here. We are not going to put profit before people.”

Rev Barnett said she began opposing oil and gas drilling when she was named by the exploration company, Europa, in an injunction against protests at Leith Hill in Surrey. She said she had done nothing unlawful to justify being included in the legal papers:

“I was furious. This was the beginning of my journey of understanding how these powerful these companies are and just how frightening they are.”

But she added:

“We are frightened but we don’t lack courage.”

191026 HH Lisa Scott DoD

Lisa Scott at Horse Hill protest rally. 26 October 2019. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Lisa Scott, a parish councillor from nearby Charlwood, said:

“Approving more drilling here was the wrong decision. 20 years of drilling will take us way past the time when the government’s own advisers say we need to have stopped using oil in transport and heating.”

191026 HH Cllr Clayton Wellman DoD

Cllr Clayton Wellman, a member of Mole Valley District Council, urged people to look for “every opportunity” to work with local councillors to oppose the onshore oil and gas industry.

He described how he and fellow Mole Valley councillors had worked on landowners to prevent oil drilling by Europa near Leith Hill. In 2018, the Secretary of State refused to renew the lease of Forestry Commission land for a well site and the drilling plans were scrapped.

 “You can win and you will win.”

Lock the gate!


Campaigners against oil drilling found themselves on the wrong side of the anti-fracking slogan, ‘lock the gate’ after the climate rally outside Horse Hill today.

Around 50 people had walked along a public footpath which runs alongside the Horse Hill oil site.

But when they tried to return to the road, they found the landowner had locked the gate and they were trapped inside a field.

A police officer negotiated with the landowner and unlocked the gate, releasing the campaigners.

‘Lock the gate’ was adopted by opponents of fracking in Australia after landowners locked gates to keep out oil companies.

Reporting of this event was made possible by individual donations from DrillOrDrop readers

(26/10) Rev Burnett’s name and area where she ministers corrected.

34 replies »

    • I prefer to listen to climate scientists rather than your opinion David. They say global heating is man made and that it is probably still within our power to prevent it cascading out of control, but only just.

      We need leaders with the courage to tell the truth and the sense to act now.

      Time for change.

    • Wrong … Fossil fuels, intensive farming are the worst! 71% of world’s pollution is caused by 100 bigest companies
      Read the facts

  1. Climate Change: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. What the science says.

    Plants and animals and decaying vegetation produce Carbon dioxide isotopes, 12, 13 and 14.


    Carbon isotopes show it’s fossil fuels that have caused the carbon dioxide increase. Scientists can measure how much of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is caused by us. Plants and animals and decaying vegetation produce carbon 12, 13 and 14. Whereas fossil fuels produce only Carbon 12 and carbon 13, the carbon 14 having long since decayed. There has been a rapid exponential increase in Carbon 12 and 13, so that is mankind released fossil Carbon, the plant produced and animal produced Carbon 14 stays relatively stable.


    There is also a massive increase in methane, particulates and chemicals the destruction of the heat and carbon sinks worldwide, microplastic films on the surface of the oceans, preventing further heat and Carbon absorption which acidifies the oceans anyway.

    “Examining the Oil Industry’s Efforts to Suppress the Truth about Climate Change”

    • There is so much wrong with that convoluted mish-mash of ‘evidence’. The first warning bell sounds when seeing you have to cobble together disparate bits of data from different sources one at least is nothing more than a uneducated blog. If your case was so sound, it would be easy to reference from one source which will have made the link a long time ago. Further, you state plants and animals produce C12 and 13, then suddenly remove that from the equation to claim only fossil fuel produces these isotopes. Which is it – do plants and animals produce C12 and 13 or not? You also claim that C14 has decayed long ago, then claim that the amount is relatively stable! I think I begin to see why there isn’t a genuine scientific peer reviewed publication trumpeting your theory. It is about as accurate and robust as a hockey stick graph by Mann!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • It seems Halloween has come early this year. What a load of Ghosties and goolies and things that go crap in the night from Donald. Maybe it crept into of the crypt, crapped a load of rubbish on the page above, and crept out again?
        Maybe English is not Donalds first language, since not a word seems rational scientific, provable, or legible, and only self sabotages with such a dismally unintelligent misrepresented load of drivel as that reply above.
        There are organisations such as the Smithsonian Institute that entirely disagree with Donald and are so concerned with the fossil fuel carbon 14 situation that they think it will interfere with future carbon dating.
        The Smithsonian Institute – Thanks to Fossil Fuels, Carbon Dating Is in Jeopardy. One Scientist May Have an Easy Fix:
        Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/carbon-dating-crucial-scientific-technique-jeopardy-thanks-our-pollution-heres-easy-way-fix-it-180961345/#0KfVEBEMLl4ikuLq.99
        Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
        Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter
        And NOAA are investigating the complexity of the carbon 12, 13 and 14 generated by natural sources and fossil fuels:
        Even the BBC has understood the carbon 14 issue regarding fossil fuels.
        CO2 from fossil fuels discerned from natural sources:
        But no doubt the fossilised zombie creatures from the pit are carbon decaying at a far higher rate, and no longer emit any isotopes at all, or yet any rationality scientific, or legible ability.
        The apparent symptom of that seems to be an overuse of exclamation marks and a hysterical ranting output.

        • As ever, blogs, opinions, journalistic stories and reports full of ifs, buts and maybes presented as some sort of factual evidence. Meanwhile, the truth about the big lie of the Mann hockey stick graph is conveniently ignored. Same old. And your prose is truly awful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • That is just more ghosties and goolies and things that go crap in the night from DD. No contrary evidence submitted whatsoever. I will therefore assume you have no evidence to refute the Smithsonian Institute. The Yale Climate Connections of the Yale Center for Environmental Communication (YCEC), directed by Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University. The NOAA Climate.gov Earth System Research Laboratory Global Monitoring Division scientific evidence as linked previously.
            You provide nothing at all to counter those facts in any way whatsoever. So your own words apply to your own output on this case,[edited by moderator]
            The apparent symptom of that seems to be an overuse of exclamation marks [edited by moderator].
            Thankyou for confirming you have no argument whatsoever that traceable amounts of carbon 12, 13 and 14 proves the evidence that fossil fuels make a major contribution to climate change.

            • I do know that where I have spent time following articles and posted opinions from such ‘illustrious’ (very well funded bodies) they always, and I mean always, tend towards a finale stating ‘if’ this and ‘if’ that. Nearly all claims are back tracked to citing the Mann et al graph which has been so thoroughly debunked it has been withdrawn form IPCC reports for some years. Many claims are made about sea level changes and heating etc, and for many years any debate to cross-examine and prove all claims has been completely subjugated. The expansion of the open web has facilitated debate and challenges to the narratives and climate change consensus. The final point is always follow the money. Any funding identified as ‘oil money propaganda’ is dwarfed by the trillions now backing the climate change industry. ALL the institutions cited receive very large specific funding directed at underlining the single narrative of climate change. It is very difficult to find any open ended funding for open research. If you knew anything about how research funding works you would know how politicized science research and funding is these days. I am a charted member of CIWEM. I would never reveal my identity since objective discourse has been eliminated and most campaigners have become nasty and aggressive desperately trying to hold up the climate change lies against the wave of objective analysis. Is that correct? In my research, the same is true for all of the institutions you cite above. It is very easy to accept the narrative and not expend the energy to question. But unforeseen consequences abound and the terrible local trauma to the environment and communities thanks to short-sighted environmental fixes will come back on all of you. All those energy saving light bulbs now filling up landfill sites, leaching mercury slowly but surely into YOUR water course. And you all think Horse Hill is an issue?

              • Apparently you have not spent enough time researching, since you provide no contrary evidence and only seek to diminish the published scientific data that you can’t or won’t refute scientifically. That reduces your claim to personal opinion.
                You say a lot above but you still have not provided any evidence to the contrary for the scientificly verified carbon12, 13 and 14 trace results.
                Again I will assume you have no argument contrary to the facts that carbon 12, 13 and 14 proves that fossil fuel emissions contribute the major proportion of carbon into the earth’s atmosphere and not from other natural biological sources.
                I was struck by this comment from you.
                ‘ I would never reveal my identity since objective discourse has been eliminated and most campaigners have become nasty and aggressive desperately trying to hold up the climate change lies against the wave of objective analysis. Is that correct? In my research, the same is true for all of the institutions you cite above. ‘
                I have not asked you for your identity DD, nor would I do so. Why did you say that?
                The ‘nasty and aggressive’ comments have all been coming from you DD so far, not from me, I just made fun of it, and i am happy to point that out.
                You mention the Mann hockey stick graph, which was not anything to do with any of my posts at all, but clearly it is a bumbling bee in your bonnet probably as a diversion from the carbon12,13,14, trace issue proving the fossil fuel connection.
                There is a lot of new information on the Mann graph that refutes your claim that I saw recently, but I don’t have it here. I will check up on that and get back to you.
                [Edited by moderator]

  2. Well you could stop a few little wells in Surrey producing a few hundred bbls per day, which we would import anyway, but what about the 80 million bbls of oil produced around the world? This is not the “front-line” against anything. We will still need oil way after the time we stop burning it for heat and transport.

    • “You say a lot above but you still have not provided any evidence to the contrary for the scientificly verified carbon12, 13 and 14 trace results.”

      Post a link to the peer reviewed publication and the paper.

      In fact any publication. There is actually NO ‘scientifically verified’ published work for anything you post (and do please learn to use a spell checker). It is not for me to prove my opinions based on my own research and day job. ‘You’ are the people making the claims – you prove it. Links to actual real peer reviewed published scientific papers that actual make a definite claim. Not a prediction, not a maybe this or maybe that if this then that, but actual real published data that can be traced and verified. Not some documentary edited to leave a long trail of unanswered questions directed to a non-existent group to prove a negative which is not possible. Homeopathy played the ‘scientifically proven’ game until they were called out and the reality and truth finally broke through. Next, it will be the climate change claims. Hockey stick graph anyone?

      Ooooppssss, nearly forgot !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • And, since it has to be laboured, the Mann graph is cited in most original and second generation papers to give qualification to the particular claims, evidence and predictions. Those papers are then cited, and those and so on. It is why the comment of the inverted pyramid is so often mentioned by more objective observers. With the Mann graph withdrawn, the entire hose of cards and practically every global warming climate change claim becomes baseless. That is the problem when all the eggs are put in one basket.

    • Again what you posted there again DD merely proves there is no scientific evidence for any refutation claims at all. Grasping at no straws at all is not scientific or provable refutation.
      Again just repeating those very weak unproven personal opinions is self defeating.
      If you have any evidence to the contrary, then post a link to a peer reviewed publication and the paper that refutes the published scientific evidence I have already provided.
      Trace isotopes of carbon 12, 13 and 14 significantly point to fossil fuels being the major contributor to the increase in carbon in the atmosphere contributes significantly to climate change. Scientific fact.
      All the evidence you need to support the scientific evidence is right there if you actually bother to read it that is..
      Ignoring all that proof merely discredits any contrarian opinion.
      Yes, there is actually real scientifically verified published work for this subject.
      And trying to introduce silly diversions about spell checkers whilst producing multiple exclamation marks at the same time merely discredits those posts even more.
      Yes it is up to you to prove your vague opinions based on your own research and day job. ‘You’ are making the claims – you prove it. In fact any publication.
      Again, since you appear fundamentally incapable of producing any evidence to prove those spurious claims. I will once again assume you have no supporting data and your unproven personal opinion is only your unproven personal opinion and not based upon any evidence at all. Everything I provided is linked to scientific organisations. Where is your proof they are wrong?
      The more you post these ridiculous unproven remarks in such a laughable manner, it only self defeats anything claimed in those posts.
      There are in fact many ‘hockey stick’ graphs, not just one, and they all show the same curve and they all support the climate change data. And then you can produce many more exclamation marks as peer reviewed evidential ‘proof’ to your refutations of thoroughly proven scientific data.

  3. Why didn’t you show the pictures of the ‘car park’ in the side road of all the protestor vehicles? If the pumps run dry the very first people to complain will be the ones shown in your rather biased report. When the truth about the fiddled numbers used in climate change claims is fully exposed, then have a debate about any impact from mankind. Until then the whole thing is just one big lie used to incite a gullible few. Keep handing over your money to the climate change groups – their mortgages won’t pay for themselves!

        • Ahh it looks like the link is for the whole twitter page, scroll down a few posts and you will find the picture posted of the cars parked up.

          • Donald that’s a picture of the minibus and a people carrier used for ferrying people back and forth from Horley station plus a couple of cars, one of which BBC South East probably came in. There were more than 100 people walking from there to the site, so thanks for the confirmation, they didn’t drive.

            • So, they were not locals then Dorkinian, and needed the train to get to Horley station!


              Strange, I thought XR were stopping trains a few days ago, to prevent others travelling.


              More do as we say, not as we do.

              • ‘a couple of cars’ – ha – and the rest in the pub car park and in the village! 1st you claim there were none, now when faced with evidence you do your best to dumb it down. So, did you clamp the wheels or these evil nasty polluting fossil fuel burners? No, you use them like everybody else. And why didn’t you call out the BBC for attending? Surely they could have used protestor footage and phone call interviews? No, of course when your propaganda buddies turn up it’s rose tinted glasses and sycophancy. [Edited by moderator]

  4. Strange that the Gatwick Gusher(??) is next to an airport scheduled for expansion. Wonder where the aviation fuel will come from? Oh yes-Fawley Refinery, where HH oil will probably end up to replace imported oil, then made into products, such as aviation fuel and sent to Gatwick! (Oh yes, and to Southampton, Bristol, Heathrow and Luton Airports-all scheduled for expansion.)

    Whilst Dorkinian makes nonsense claims. No, climate change is not all made by man, and there are very few who claim that-scientists or twerps. Of course if you wish to pursue that nonsense then try and get man to reduce population. Good luck with that.

    • Another ludicrous claim from Martin Collyer, veteran stalker of the Drill or Drop comments section, the “expert” who thought that fracking is supposed to cause earthquakes.

      Climate scientists know climate change is man made, report after report has said the same for years now. Martin seems to be the last person to realise it, the Rip Van Winkle of the climate crisis.

      Keep churning out the nonsense please, DoD wouldn’t be the same without your waffle.

  5. Oh so many falsehoods! Let me assist.

    The comments about potential oil reserves, Dorkinian, were about the Weald, not HH. Shame you don’t know the subject but keep on implying you do.

    I stated that fracking was supposed to cause events that could be measured as seismic activity. No mention of earthquakes. And certainly nothing to do with the Weald.

    Report after report has stated that climate change is PARTIALLY due to activity of man. How much CO2 does a volcano produce Dorkinian??? What about historic climate change when “man” was not around in any large numbers???

    Interesting that such basics are now deliberately ignored, or even changed. Keep it going Dorkinian. I suspect there may be one or two out there (Lisa?) who will fall for such nonsense, but not many. I will keep posting for the many.

    Getting a story straight? Oh dear.

    Reminds me of the recent posts about the Radio 4 program-and then we see anti fracking posters marching outside HH!! So, there is form that false accusations and false claims can and are made, yet they continue. The “secret” has long been exposed but perhaps there is a shortage of substance to excite many?

    • Interestingly, the more they campaign and shout their slogans, the less people hear. There are too many questions about the probity and honesty behind the so called scientific facts or consensus. The climate change campaigners seem to believe that there is legitimacy by virtue of the fact that media, especially mass media sing from the same sheet. A lot of institutions and individuals have painted themselves into a corner backing what appeared to be simple facts only to find the most basic and elementary claims can be easily pulled apart (ice displaces water which is why there is no change in sea level during the annual ice melt at the north pole for example). The BBC especially has a big problem. It has been a lead propaganda vehicle for the CC movement, but will not dare broadcast Gore’s documentary because it knows it would be broadcasting a verifiable lie and the entire can of worms will be opened in the courts and might even have its license to broadcast challenged. The truth will always out, it can never be buried for ever. This, is the real world.

    • Poor Martin you still don’t understand that the KCL is shale oil, it is tight, it isn’t going to flow without stimulation. The closest analogy for the Kimmeridge is the Bakken oil play, which was uncommercial until the start of fracking. That won’t be happening here Martin, the Weald is where tinpot little companies flounder and. their investor’s dreams end. Cuadrilla were run out of Balcombe, Europa wasted 9 years on Leith Hill and lost millions, Tellurian, Solo, Doriemus have all gone, just a few mugs left, trying to get others to believe the lies.

  6. “It isn’t going to flow”!!!

    Well, poor Dorkinian, it already IS! It has been for some while, and the data is there for all to see. It is also already far above other “puddle” claims previously made.

    So, keep on burning that midnight oil and churning out the desperate false claims that have ALREADY been proven incorrect. As I previously stated, there may be some who don’t bother to do any detailed research, but most will bother to do some rudimentary stuff, and find your comments rather strange.

    Now, noticing you avoided apologising for your previous errors, I will still offer some further help.

    I might speculate HH is a site that may be difficult for UKOG to replicate elsewhere, but equally, may not be. But that is quite different to making false claims from the outside regarding HH. If others can see the sand you are building upon, they are unlikely to have confidence in what you are trying to build.

  7. HH flows oil on practically a daily basis, even when drilling a new well right alongside. Where on earth do you get the idea that fracking is required? Thousands of barrels have already flowed without any fracking. The sweet oil has, no doubt, ended up in many or the new gadgets and cloths you can’t help buying. Lot of gortex around at the protest. Hypocrites. I would support turning off all oil pumps and imports for just one month and see how long before you campaigners start bouncing off the walls. That would be for the whole planet. See how long you tree huggers last without your imported grains, exotic non-native fruits, coffee imports and POWER, POWER, POWER. Your Prius SMUG limited edition all terrain Li polluting battery won’t run very far on one charge. And don’t forget all those indigenous people turfed off their ancestral lands trying to find all the Lithium for your bloody battery powered cars, you damn planet wreckers. The only people of any threat to any part of the planet are the environmentalists who just simply do not stop and think about the consequences of their actions.

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